Writing the Way at 826LA: Students Reflect on Hispanic Heritage Month

National Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept.15 – Oct.15) celebrates the culture and contributions of Hispanics and Latinos in America. To recognize this important month, 826LA interviewed students in our Tuesday and Thursday night tutoring program (TNT). We asked: How does being Hispanic/Latino influence your writing style everyday? What makes you a Latinx writer? 


“All the S words” 

The question sparked conversation about the kinds of foods eaten on holidays and the languages spoken at home. Natalie examined how she used Spanish in her writing and concluded, “It makes my writing spicy. It makes it saucy, smooth, all the S words.” 

“It makes my writing spicy. It makes it saucy, smooth, all the S words.”

“I once wrote a play…

TNT student Gabriela thought about recurring themes in her stories. She explained, “I once wrote a play about these three Latina women who find out their boss got killed. The oldest woman speaks a lot of Spanish. I took inspiration from a book I’ve read, novelas, and, well, I speak Spanish.” Often Gabriela uses characters or plots in her pieces that represent Latino culture.

The “Modern Latinx”

Writing about the generation of people whose two cultures collide is what Ashla tries to do. She said, “I try to write about and incorporate the use of different languages in my poetry. I try to highlight the urban setting of the modern Latinx. Not so much focusing on the most bare version of history, but seeing how it has mixed in with the American culture that is around us.” Ashla spoke about her connection to the city of Los Angeles and its people. She believes their stories need to be told too.

The “Experiences of My Family”     

“I try to highlight the urban setting of the modern Latinx.”

After being asked this question, Journalism student Kaylain paused and said, “Well experiences inspire my style…I add not just my experiences, but the experiences of my family.” She spoke about her passion for journaling and how, in the process, she preserves her family’s history.

“The world is changing, life is changing.”

Another student, Garland, gave an example of a Hispanic folktale he learned in Spanish class. Students raised their hands and shared versions of the tale that they learned at home, and Garland was surprised by the variation. He has taken on the challenge in his writing. He said, “I am Blackxican. That’s what I write about. I write about my being raised in my culture, and the holidays we celebrate. I would be the one to write my families stories. Well because the world is changing life is changing, so later generations will know what happened.”


Experience these student’s unique writing style for yourself! You find many of their pieces in our published 826LA chapbooks here.

Read more pieces from our Writing the Way at 826LA blog series here

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